Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts

Saturday, February 2, 2013


fish, greens and an egg
a one dish meal packed with highly nutritious ingredients.
this is eaten with hot rice for lunch.
a glass of green tea with lemon will be perfect.

Fish – 2 pieces- fry till done.  How cooked depends on you. Place on serving plate and add raw greens at the side… as above

Next and is a must, is to use the same oil for frying fish above, when cooking. It makes a world of difference

3 cloves garlic- minced
1 large onion- slice/ minced
1 red  and 1 green chili – slices
2 stalks curry leaves
1 slice asam gelugor / substitute with 1 tsp lemon  juice
1 tbsp soup powder
Salt and pepper
Veggies- 1 cup cut cauliflower and 1 medium tomato
1 hard boil egg
Raw greens of your choice for garnishing
Canola vegetable oil for frying
the healthy benefits
*Vegetable oil lowers cholesterol. So does garlic and onion.

*The soluble fiber in veggies drag the cholesterol out of the body. Best examples are egg plant, okra and beans.

*Fat soluble red lycopene  in tomato increases 4 times when cooked. It protects against oxidative damage and cancer-causing effects (prostate, pancreas, colorectal, lung). The body uses lycopene better when cooked with fat such as oil.

*Catechins anti oxidant in green tea helps reduce damage cause by bad cholesterol LDL.
*The ten benefits in eggs as listed below

ASAM GELUGOR- garcinia
cooking method
Using a little of the same fish oil, heat up and fry onion. Once golden, add in garlic, chili and curry leaves.

Stir for about 2 minutes, add in cauliflower and tomato as well asam gelugor, salt, pepper, soup powder and half cup water. Very flavorful already.
Cover pan with lid for 4 minutes.

Ensure cauliflower is cooked  al dente or crisp tender. Remove from pan and pour onto fish. Add egg on top.
Ready to serve, best eaten hot.

ten health BENEFITS  IN eggs
Athough egg yolk contains fat and cholesterol, the egg yolk  is also a major sorce of vitamins (A,D,E,K) and minerals. Egg yolk is one of the few foods naturally containing vitamin D.

Egg has many other health  benefits such as protein, also lutein and zezanthin which are great for the eyes (prevents macular degeneration and lowers  eye cataracts risks).
Choline in eggs is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system. 
Women who consumed 6 eggs per week may help lower breast cancer risk by 44%.
It’s sulphur content promotes healthy hair and nails.
In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke and heart attacks.

the double egg yolk
Double egg yolks may be the result of a young hen's reproductive cycle not yet being synchronized. 
There are some hybrid breeds of hens which produce double-yolk eggs by default. 
Such eggs are produced in India. Eastern states known for that are West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.  Link here and here

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


31ST AUGUST 1957 is Independence day for the Federation of Malaya

A new Federation under the name of Malaysia was created on 16 September 1963. 

I am proud to be a Malaysian and would like to share a simple traditional recipe from the ancient , to celebrate this occasion.

Traditional Malaysian foodies are known to be spicy, aromatic and very flavorful.

I like to present this recipe in a traditional way, from memory- 
and not the usual orderly way such as listing the ingredients first, then followed by the cooking techniques.
SMOKED  FISH IN COCONUT GRAVY or you may do grilled fish
Fish- preferably the not too soft type and has some good fat content
A good example  is catfish which is high in vitamin D and some omega fatty acids.
There are many edible catfish varieties that are prepared as food, in many different ways worldwide. Catfish makes an interesting ingredient for this ancient dish.

Smoke or grill 3 medium size catfish. Let them get burnt a bit, but remain soft on the inside. Coal fire would be great. When done cut into half- careful not to break into pieces.
1 cup concentrated coconut milk mix with 1 ½ cup water OR vice versa if you prefer a thicker and richer gravy.
3 pieces bitter gourd- halved and seeded. This gives great flavor, just a slight bitter taste helps make it a more authentic dish with great medicinal value.
1 large eggplant- quartered
Half  inch fresh mature turmeric root. It is not an original recipe, if you use turmeric powder.
Some fresh chili- this depends on your feel for chili hot taste.
Traditionally, we use the very hot bird chili variety.

1 piece/ 1 slice sun dried asam gelugor (dried garcinia/ gandarusa) – an origin of Malaysia- see image

A substitute for this traditional asam will be green unripe mango, which is crispy and has a sour taste. A quarter cup of sour green mango slices will do just fine.

Blend turmeric with chili. Use a cooking pot-add in coconut concentrate with water, blended ingredients, bitter gourd and eggplant.

Let boil and stir consistently to ensure a smooth gravy texture. After 10 minutes, add in fish and asam / mango.
Stir for another 10 minutes and put off fire.

Serve with rice as a main dish. You may complement this with fried chicken and omelet.

Traditionally, we used claypot to cook this- 
it helps bring out the best of flavors, 
as well, retain heat for a long time.

After a hearty meal and a whole morning workout in the fields, it is time to  relax, stay indoors and shelter oneself from the afternoon sun.
Betel leaf and betel leaf gold plated holder
The elderly, especially grandparents will help themselves to what I personally call  the “ancient chewing gum”. Yes, it’s eating sireh pinang time.
Sireh (betel leaf-as in topmost pic)  in an addictive psycho-stimulating  formula, popularly eaten in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and in Asian countries like Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Here, areca nut, catechu (kattha) and slaked lime is wrapped with the betel leaf. This combination is called “Betel quid”. The betel quid has been popular for several  thousand years and still is.
Areca nut or betel nut with a cutter
both holder and cutter pics(excluding leaf and nuts)
are from perpustakaan negara
In some countries tobacco is added, but not in ours. According to medical studies, excessive intake may cause oral cancers, but I have never seen one affected this way. 

Medicinal value
In India, betel leaf is used to cure worms and antiseptic. In ayurvedic , it’s a remedy for bad breath.
Both betel leaf and areca nuts are stimulants. Stimulants induce temporary improvements in either mental or physical function or both.

Examples on the effects of stimulants may include enhanced alertness, wakefulness, and locomotion etc. Their effects typically have an "up" quality to them, stimulants are also occasionally referred to as "uppers". Depressants are "downers", which decrease mental and/or physical function.

In some countries, Betel quid may include coconut, fruit preserves, rose petal preserves, various spices or candy coated fennel seeds, for a sweeter variety.
May be you know of other interesting formula using betel leaf and areca nuts  to psycho stimulate one’s brain. Do share with us. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

UMNGQUSHO RECIPE- A Nelson Mandela's favorite foodie . FISH FRIKKADEL RECIPE- Cape malays


MNGGUSHO RECIPE- Nelson Mandela's favorite


African cuisine is a term generally referring to the cuisines of Africa. Being the second  largest land mass on Earth, the continent of Africa is home to hundreds of different cultural and ethnic groups. This is reflected in the diverse local culinary traditions in terms of choice of ingredients, style of preparation and cooking techniques.
The continent's many populations: Central Africa, East, North and South and the Horn of Africa each have their own distinctive dishes, eating and drinking habits.
BLUE CRANE- the national bird of South Africa
South Africa has two capital cities, Pretoria and Cape Town a mother city. 
I would love to visit this country especially Cape Town and Johannesburg – which I believe will be a tour that will exceed my expectations. 
Reading on, I would definitely want the unique experience  of a South African safari at the Kruger national park
The safari waterhole

South Africa has several sites where ancient fossils are found to have  existed way back 3 million years ago. Discoveries include human fossils and the homonini fossils, which are actually species and ancestor lineages of the chimpanzee. 
These fossil sites are known as “Cradle of Humankind”  and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Part 1 check here  on East African cuisine
Part 2 check here   on North African cuisine

Southern African cooking
The cooking of South Africa is sometimes called 'rainbow cuisine '
It is a name  given, since  the food in this region is a blend of many cultures – the indigenous African tribal societies, the European and  the Asian.
The indigenous people of Southern Africa were divided into two main groups and several sub groups.
The largest group are the Bantu-speakers, whose descendants are identified by various sub-group such as the Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi, Sotho, Tswana, Pedi, Shangaan and Tsonga.
Two thousand years ago, they came and introduce crop cultivation, animal husbandry etc. so the Bantu-speakers  became agriculturalists and herdsmen, rearing cattle, sheep and goats.

The primeval residents of the region is a smaller group, the Khoisan, who some archaeologists believe, had lived in the region for at least ten thousand years. Many descendants of the Khoisan people have now been incorporated into the colored population of South Africa. 

Potjiekos is a traditional Afrikaner stew made with meat and vegetables and   cooked over coals in cast iron pots.
The Bantu speakers ate dishes of grain, meat, milk and vegetables, as well as fermented grain and fermented milk products.
The Khoi-Khoi (khoisan) ate meat and milk, and the San hunted wild animals and gathered wild tubers and vegetables.

South African cuisine is heavily meat-based and the daily food of Black South African families can be traced to the indigenous foods of their ancestors. The Khoisan ate roasted meat, and they do dried meat for later use. The influence of their diet is reflected in the universal Southern African love of barbecue in their social gatherings (generally called in South Africa by its Afrikaans name, a "Braai") and Biltong (dried preserved meat).

Mageu, a traditional non-alcoholic drink made from fermented mealie pap is popular among many of the Nguni people.
Milk was historically one of the most important diet components. They enjoy drinking sour milk products, comparable to American buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream. On weekends they will have a "Braai" and the meal would usually consist of "Pap and Vleis," which is maize porridge and grilled meat.

The basic ingredients include seafood, meat products (including wild game like venison, ostrich and impala), poultry, as well as grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Like any other countries, South Africa too has its own unique recipes. To my personal opinion, here are a few:

-Walkie Talkies-  Grilled or deep-fried chicken heads and feet
-Vetkoek- fat cake.  A deep-fried dough balls typically stuffed with meat or   served with snoek fish or jam.
-Mashonza, made from the mopane worm.- the caterpillar of a moth species found locally and is an important source of protein for millions of indigenous South Africans.
-Rusks, a rectangular, hard, dry  biscuit eaten after being dunked in tea or coffee.

-Water blommetjie (water flower stew), meat  stewed with the flower of the Cape Pondweed.

Umngqusho , is a favorite traditional dish of the Xhosa people in South Africa made of samp and cowpeas. Samp  is a de-hulled dried corn been crushed or broken into pieces which are then easier to cook and eat.  Cowpeas are a variety of the black-eyed pea.
  • What you need
  • four cups dry samp (broken maize/ corn kernels)
  • two cups dry cow peas (black-eyed peas/ field peas) or any similar beans
  • salt
  • What you do
  • Combine samp and cow peas in a large enamel pot or glass bowl. Add cold water sufficient to cover. Cover, and let stand overnight. Drain and rinse before cooking.
  • In a large pot. Cover the soaked samp and cowpeas mixture with cold water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for ten minutes. Reduce heat. Simmer on low heat for one to two hours, until all is tender and the water is mostly absorbed. Add additional water during cooking if needed.
  • Season with salt. Serve hot.b
  • This ancient have been improvised by adding butter, potatoes, onions and chili.... with some lemon juice.
Many websites report that umngqusho is said to be  the anti apartheid activist and former President Nelson Mandela’s  favorite dish (he is a Xhosa clan). It is usually described as "stamp mealies. His autobiography describes the more traditional umngqusho.  .
 Something for all of us to reflect upon 
South African former President, Nelson Mandela describes the umngqusho of his youth in "Long Walk to Freedom".

I do have one  South African  cape malay recipe, Fish frikkadel , which is a guest post by my South African blogger friend., Miss Rawiyah, a cape malay. (ancestors of the Malays from Malaysia, who migrated to South Africa). I received almost daily visits on this recipe, Since June 01 – check here 

Society and culture.
For the love of culture and art, here.. i still want to put the Zulu dancers image in this post- ha ha. Like i can vividly hear the sounds of the drums and their husky guttural humming, being part of the musical instrument and also   the rapid stamping of their feet.. wish i am there :)

  Sources check here,  here   and here  and other sources.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012



Today I have a special guest blogger, Suja Manoj from Ohio. I have always love her Stuffed chicken and Stuffed fish recipes. Noting her stuffing ingredients differ from mine, as well looking very delicious, I requested her to be my guest.

I am glad she agreed and came up with this “Stuffed Pomfret With Green Masala”. It is so flavorful, especially with prawns added, giving a new flavor to pomfret.

My special thank you to Suja for her willingness to be my guest and sharing with us this authentic seafood dish. Let us hear it from Suja:


Hi Cooking Varieties Readers!
This is Suja of Kitchen Corner- Try It.

I am from Kerala, India and currently residing in USA, Ohio with my husband and kid. Kitchen Corner blog was the result of a desire to make tasty home made food and to bring back some happy memories.

My husband and myself belong to the north and south of Kerala and so the flavors we were familiar from childhood also varied. Many times we used to discuss about food, regional specialties and the flavors that we found interesting during travel. All that encouraged me to experiment and write down those recipes.

To me the most inspiring cook is my mother. She always cooks great meals and is confident in experimenting and  planning stress free meals... she is my source of inspiration. Blogging has been a wonderful journey and I made friends with some amazing foodies. In future I wish to improve my blog and to take a more serious approach in blogging with better clicks and fusion recipes. 
Today's recipe is for fish lovers. It is a delicious and flavorful stuffed pomfret fish with green masala. The filling used is coconut, coriander and mint paste mixed with prawns. Adding prawns gives a unique flavor to this fish fry but you also make it with just the green chutney. I love to use pomfret fish to make this type of stuffed fish recipe because it is soft and has a mild flavor. 
To make slits or pockets for the stuffing you can make deep cuts as is seen in this recipe or make slits in the top side or the dorsal side of the fish. Try this recipe, you will surely love it.


White pomfret fish-2
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/3 tsp
Lemon juice- 1/2 lemon
salt to taste

Prawns - 8-10 medium
(chop or slit them into thin slices)
Onion- 1 medium
Shredded Coconut- 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves chopped- 1 cup
Mint leaves- a few
Green chilly- 5-6
( adjust to taste)
Garlic pods- 4-5
Ginger- 1 inch thick
Pepper powder- 1/3 tsp
Garam masala- 3/4 tsp
Lemon juice- 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Clean the fish and cut open the stomach of the fish. Remove the gills and wash the fish thoroughly
Lay the fish flat on a cutting board and slide in the knife and slit open length wise close to its bone reaching to the tail. . Do not cut open all the way through. It should resemble a pocket.
Squeeze lemon juice and let the fish rest for two minutes and wash again. This will help eliminate the fishy smell.

Make a paste of turmeric powder, pepper powder, salt, lemon juice and marinade the fish and keep aside for ten to fifteen minutes.
Make a fine paste of coconut, coriander leaves, mint leaves, ginger, garlic and green chilly and set aside.
Heat oil in pan and add finely chopped onion and saute till onion changes color.
Now add the coconut green masala paste and saute for a minute till the raw flavor disappears.
Next add cleaned and chopped prawns. Cover and cook for about three minutes and till the masala becomes dry. Switch off the flame and allow to completely cool before stuffing the fish.

Once the stuffing comes to room temperature fill the pockets of the the fish with this masala paste.
You can also use a kitchen twine and gently go round the fish two or three times and tie a knot. This will help to keep masala intact.

Heat 1/3 cup of oil in a pan and fry the stuffed fish in low medium flame ( you can also cover with a lid for two minutes while frying to ensure that it gets properly cooked). Fry till both sides are evenly browned up or cooked. Serve with lemon wedges.

Once again thanks Wan
Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy..

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

LUTEFISK. Hai O.. Hai O.. Off to cook i go..




smile.. an everlasting smile..
NOW back to cook VARIETIES 
NO bbq 4me just yet,
fire flames very hot… oops!!

kitchen heat turns my eyes amber green-
how i wish i have permanent
amber green eyes..
rare amber green eyes
no... not like cats.. never
STILL THINKING WHAT TO COOK….. hmmmm ….. hmmm down memory lane.. for someone who just came out from amnesia. I kept remembering food quotes instead of recipes
??? “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade -quote

ha ha lemon is  a great detox, but no thanks, am not in a sour mood now.
THINK, THINK AGAIN… ok desperado,, 
think , think…

The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread-“ quote.
How can I handle this messy quote…. Proportional? Big joke buddy, no thanks,  butter and bread don’t mix well in texture.. marmalade ok. ha ha
Hai O.. Hai O…
Off to cook I go…
Hai O… Hai O..
Cook What? I don’t know-
Sudden pangs of hunger hit me now, no breakfast yet and it’s almost lunch hour. No wonder,  brains falling out… see you later, I eat first.. 

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”- quote
The cream rises to the top…..quote   
But I am not in the mood for cream, so forget the apple cream recipe. 
Messy cooking… don’t even know where to start... 
Good excuse for me is that, apples don’t grow locally here, hence the reason why I know nuts about apples.
 I don’t buy those imported apples, they are all covered with wax!!!

 Dont believe me? Take an apple and put it near your laptop. Leave it there, after 2 weeks, notice it’s shiny and taut skin- green or red- Cut it open, you will find it’s rotten oreidiiiii.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"- quote
Remember the song? Ahhh SHUT UP ON YOUR FACE !!!!- quote
After eating, now I find my brain turbo-charged with energy and the protein, was a good meal, that quickie egg salad with a splash of chili sauce burger was delicious… that’s how much a human need to eat food, to sustain life.
I eat whatever is given to me , can’t afford to be choosy, I am just thankful for whatever food God gives me- simple or gourmet, I just accept .. x mono, but varieties. 

It scares the hell out of me, if God doesn’t give me any food to eat. It reminds me of that "african child" pic. God has ordained it such that we must eat, what to do… I can’t be arrogant and think that cooking is not important.. cos food is important. 
If i eat too much that is greedy, I may just deserve to grow fat. In this world, moderation is the best way of life...Quality life. 
                           SHE'S CHUBBY, NOT FAT=
Brain functioning- a humor on food.
Hey, I found out this food.. from my good friend wiki, wanna share with you:

Yes, a salted whitefish and lye. Dish from the Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Mid West US
Lye is a corrosive alkaline substance (caustic soda/ sodium hydroxide).
Briefly- Traditionally, the fish is soaked in water for 5 days and another 2 days in lye. Plus 5days. An extremely strong and pungent odor is produced. Normally cod or lingfish are used. Pollock or haddock has less odor.

At this stage, half of the protein gone, they now looked like jelly and pale. Rinse the salt, wrap lutefisk in cheesecloth and steam-cooked/ baked. Watch over and remove it before it falls apart.
Do not use sterling silver cooking utensils or platter, it will be permanently ruined. Use stainless steel or ceramics instead.

Serve with side dish..examples: butter, cheese, meatballs, potatoes, meat, peas.. white sauce spiced with pepper is used to enhance flavor. They then Enjoy.

Quote from Garrison Keillor's book, Lake Wobegon days:
“Every Advent we entered the purgatory of lutefisk, a repulsive gelatinous fishlike dish that tasted of soap and gave off an odor that would gag a goat”.
Quote from Garrison Keillor’s book, Pontoon:
Lutefisk looks like the desiccated cadavers of squirrels run over by trucks.
Interview with Jeffrey Steigarten, author of The Man Who Ate Everything:
Some people say that they like lutefisk. Do you think they tell the truth?
I do not know. Of all food, lutefisk is the only one that I don't take any stand on. I simply cannot decide whether it is nice or disgusting,   Lutefisk is an example of food that almost doesn't taste like anything, but is so full of emotions that the taste buds get knocked out. Lutefisk is not food, it is a weapon of mass destruction.
MODERN CONSUMPTION- Lutefisk, now a meal that is becoming increasingly trendy..
I kind of like my earlier post on ice cream.. many useful facts in there. You may check this out at “LINKS TO MY RECIPES” at my sidebar.. while I relax … Too many blueberry ice cream turns me purple. Trying out my NEW  thinking cap now.. new season of foodies for me.
YES!! YES!!, amnesia gone… I know what to fix, but not today, time constraint oreidi ….